For years, renting a small one-bedroom apartment in Chicago wasn’t a big deal because my significant other and I were hardly ever home. We were always out and about, taking full advantage of everything there was to do in a large city. Once the COVID-19 pandemic began, though, the perks of city living weren’t quite as appealing. We were ready for a new adventure and decided to move to Colorado, joining the millions of Americans moving from crowded cities to communities offering more living space and outdoor activities.
Moving across the country in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t easy, and we learned a lot in the process. If you’re thinking about moving — whether it’s to a new state or just to a new place — here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Ask for a tour that includes the outside of the home or apartment, including the neighborhood
Given that my partner and I were halfway across the country, we embraced getting a virtual tour of units we inquired about. However, we received videos only of the apartment space itself, having to rely on Google Maps to see what the neighborhood looked like and asking friends to take drive-by tours of the area. Don’t be afraid to use resources available to you, because the virtual tour of the home is just one aspect of the move.
2. Plan ahead
Book your moving truck (and movers) as early as possible, especially if you’re moving at the end of the month. We booked our truck and movers a month in advance but wish we had done so earlier; we called a dozen places before we were able to secure movers for our desired date. If you’re hiring movers, be sure to ask about COVID-19 measures the company has implemented to keep everyone involved healthy and safe.
3. Have more moving supplies on hand than you think you’ll need
You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it. Save yourself an extra trip (or 20) to the store by buying ample amounts of moving boxes, tape and bubble wrap. Be sure to also have plenty of hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and other PPE/sanitizing supplies on hand.
4. Familiarize yourself with each state’s COVID-19 rules and regulations
If you’re driving across the country, keep in mind that each state’s COVID-19 safety rules and regulations may differ. Know what to expect and be prepared to follow guidelines and safety measures, especially when planning for pit stops.
5. Coordinate the move-in process
We had a contactless move-in arrangement with our landlord. It was relatively smooth, but having a checklist with specific information would have made the experience even better. Make sure you know specifics, like where to park your moving truck, what time you can expect to get keys or the code to a digital lock, where the mailbox is, etc. – basically all the things you take for granted when you’re able to tour a place in person instead of virtually.
The reality is, moving can be a stressful experience no matter when or where you’re moving. Your experienced RE/MAX agent can help ease the process.
Written by Kaitlin McMurry